Adventures in a Foreign Land

“Discovering Jesus' Compassion for the Mentally Ill”

Lorraine Gibbard

ISBN: 9781909728844

200 Pages

Published Mar 2018

Mental Health

Paperback £8.99 Kindle £5.99
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When Lorraine Gibbard became a Christian, she could not imagine the tumultuous journey awaiting her.

A sudden onset of mental illness shattered her successful life and left her feeling lost in a foreign land. Clinging to her new-found faith, she set out on the long journey of recovery, when unexpected vision would be birthed.

Growing daily in trust and dependence on God, Lorraine began to see how compassionately Jesus viewed those suffering mental distress. As she learnt about prayer and healing, and the nature of God’s Kingdom, she was inspired to set up the Mental Health Fellowship. Supporting individuals and their carers for thirteen years, the fellowship demonstrated how mental health services and the church could work together to transform lives.

Join Lorraine in discovering Jesus’ compassion towards the mentally ill and learn how to offer practical and spiritual support.

  • This is not, as you might imagine, an account of distant travels, but rather a very honest account of someone who has struggled deeply with mental illness, in particular Bipolar Affective Disorder.

    She describes in detail the phases of her illness, firstly when she was in a manic phase and then her struggles with the recurring depressive phases of this illness. She points out the necessity and benefits of medical treatment and is open about the familial aspects of this illness.

    She is also a firm believer in the power of prayer and finds God’s help in a very real way in her difficulties. She learns to be patient with herself during recovery and to pace herself as she takes on her previous responsibilities. She also found great peace in nature. One of the beautiful poems she wrote was entitled Bluebell heaven. She writes,

    "Bluebells are fragile delicate emblems,

    Sent by the God who loves to heal.

    The tranquility of this lovely glade

    Made me glad to be alive

    A message from heaven was here in the bluebells."

    Strengthened by her experiences, she begins to move out towards others and worked with her church to set up a group for those struggling with mental health problems. Impressively, this group continued for thirteen years and many people were helped by it. The group was well and carefully set up, and this wisdom was further demonstrated in her involvement with carers of those with mental illness.

    I believe this book will be very helpful for those who go through similar mental health problems. I also believe it will be a useful resource for carers and others helping those with mental health problems. It also shows how mental health services and church groups can work together for the benefit of individual sufferers. I highly recommend this book.

    Dr Stephen Critchlow, retired consultant psychiatrist and church pastor, and author of Mindful of the Light
  • Lorraine writes with genuine concern and passion about the effects, struggles and stigma of mental illness as she has experienced them, weaving in between and with golden thread, her journey of faith. Through the pages of the book she offers to fellow sufferers and carers a credible companionship and story of hope; and to the Church, a compendium of insights and guidance which will assist faith communities in creating safe space for those experiencing mental health difficulties. The book is a testimony of the author’s courage as she continues to adventure in what has probably become a less foreign and more familiar land for her. It will hopefully encourage and inspire those who feel they are in uncharted territory.

    Teresa Onions, former Pastoral Leader of St Thomas’s Church and former Director of Pastoral Care UK
  • I was a member of the Mental Health Fellowship and, through the group, I learned not to feel guilty about my mental health issues and found a place where I could be of value to others. Our meetings were the highlight of my week; we supported each other and were guided and encouraged by Lorraine’s leadership. I commend this book to anyone seeking to build an inclusive Christian family.

    Frances Price, a member of the Mental Health Fellowship for ten years

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